Fort Lauderdale, FL- According to the American Veterinarian Association, there are approximately 74 million pet cats and 70 million pet dogs in the U.S. Over sixty percent of households in the country have at least one four-legged family member, and they too can be put in the middle of a nasty divorce. That is why our team of divorce lawyers in Fort Lauderdale are often asked: Should my pet be included in my prenuptial agreement?
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, let us connect you with a divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to explain the pros and cons such an agreement and will guide you through the process. USAttorneys can connect you with one today.
In a past survey, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found that 27 percent of divorce attorneys have seen a rise in the number of pet custody cases over the past few years. The vast majority, 88 percent, involve disputes over the family dog while only a meager 5 percent involve cats, according to the AAML.Pet custody can be a vexing issue in divorce.
To someone who hasn’t owned a pet, the notion that one can become the center of heated custody dispute seems absurd, but in divorce, it can become a very heated issue. Sadly, courts don’t treat pets like the beloved members of the family that they are; divorce court treats pets like they are property. Because pets are property, who gets custody of a cat or a dog is not as important to court, and there is no guarantee that a judge will help a couple decide on this very important issue. Should a judge choose to take up the issue, they aren’t going to take each spouse’s feeling for a pet into consideration; they are going to see the pet as an asset with a value and put a pet with the spouse who cannot give it the attention and care it requires.
A prenuptial agreement is probably the best solution to the pet custody issue. If a couple has a pet, they can add a provision to their prenuptial agreement that will dictate which spouse gets primary custody of their pet. When you add you beloved family pet to your prenuptial agreement, you can make tough decisions at a more emotionally stable time for a couple.Prenuptial agreements can help settle contentious issues.
When adding a pet to a prenuptial agreement, a couple must take into consideration the time, medical care and emotional support a pet requires and be honest about which spouse is capable of providing for the needs
Another thing to take into consideration is who will get the marital home in the event of divorce. Moving is traumatic on pets, probably more so than for people, so the pooch or the kitty should probably stay with the spouse who will retain possession of the marital home. Visitation arrangements can also be made in a prenuptial agreement.
The average cost of caring for a dog is about $1,000 a year. That’s just for the basics like dog food, preventative medications, vaccinations and regular pet visits, so a pet prenuptial can also outline the terms of a financial custody for a pet.
If you have a pet, USAttorneys can connect you with an attorney who will assist you with all aspects of your prenuptial agreement. They can help you with a new prenuptial or help you change the terms of an existing one. Contact a divorce lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and get help with your prenuptial.